Companies that fail to offer flexible work are missing out on some of the best talent available and will be at a distinct recruiting disadvantage within the next five years. So says Kyra Cavanaugh, founder of LifemeetsWork.com a new Web site dedicated to fostering the flexible work movement.
The United States is facing a looming labor shortage. By 2010, almost 64 million workers – 40 percent of the United States workforce – will be poised for retirement. Meanwhile, fewer mothers want to work full-time, Gen Xers and Millennials are increasingly demanding work/life benefits, and employees are facing increased burdens for senior care.
Life Meets Work aims to address these challenges by supporting flexible arrangements through its content, job board and online community. Employers can access resources and best practices, and job seekers can find information and advice to secure and succeed in a flexible role.
Cavanaugh, a former marketing manager in the food industry and a mother of three, began working flexibly about ten years ago. She's held part-time, telecommuting, compressed work week, and contract positions.
But Cavanaugh wasn't just thinking about working moms when she created LifemeetsWork.com. The site has content areas dedicated to young professionals, caregivers, Baby Boomers and employers.
"Companies should think about flexibility as a way to manage their labor needs instead of as a perk for high-performing employees." said Cavanaugh. "It's getting harder to find skilled workers from the full-time job pool. Smart companies are tapping into alternate sources of workers, like stay-at-home moms; and implementing programs to retain younger workers and retiring Boomers."
LifeMeetsWork.com includes an online job board where flexible job seekers can post resumes and employers can advertise their flexible jobs. Each job post is reviewed by Cavanaugh and her staff to ensure it meets their flex criteria.
"Flexible jobs benefit everyone," said Cavanaugh. "Companies see improvements in loyalty, productivity and recruitment, while families experience reduced stress and improved health for both parents and their children."